People Feature: Ye of Daly City

People Feature Series #4

I love work. It absolutely heartens me to see people from all walks of life and profession exuding passion and dedication in their work.

This is Ye. I see him daily in Safeway at the Crystal Springs Shopping Centre by De Anza Blvd and Polhemus Rd in San Mateo. Whenever I walk pass his sushi counter, despite his intent focus at preparing the next fresh roll of sushi, he’d always look up, greet me and ask about my day. He is always cheerful; I’ve never once saw him without a smile. He thinks I’m a student because I’m always carrying a backpack. You see, I work off Starbucks which is next door, and whenever I needed a quick lunch fix, I’d grab all my belongings including my laptop and backpack and swing over to Safeway to buy sushi because it’s freshly made on the spot, delicious, cheap and quick. I’d tell him I’m too old to be a student and he’d laugh nervously; he must be curious about my age but never did dare ask for fear of offending me, perhaps? I would have gladly told him I’m pushing forty.  

What struck me about Ye, apart from his exemplary work ethic and cheery disposition, is his hardworking nature. He works as a sushi chef five days a week in San Mateo and drives Uber on the weekends in San Francisco.

I’ll soon be moving to a different city and would not be frequenting this area as much but would like to document Ye for posterity sake - as a testament to our brief friendship developed over rolls of sushi.